Sunday, January 27, 2013

[PaleoMammalogy • 2010] Linxia Basin: An Ancient Paradise for Late Cenozoic Rhinoceroses in North China

Habitat reconstruction the Linxia Basin during the Late Miocene.
Art: ~sinammonite on 
under guidance of IVPP scholar Deng Tao

The Linxia Basin is located on the triple-junction of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau, western Qinling Mountains and the Loess Plateau. The basin is filled with 700−2000 m of late Cenozoic deposits, mainly red in color and dominated by lacustrine siltstones and mudstones, and the Linxia sequence represents the most complete and successive late Cenozoic section in China. The localities in the Linxia Basin are notable for abundant, relatively complete, well-preserved, and sometimes partially articulated bones of large mammals, which often occur in dense concentrations. Many new species of the Late Oligocene Dzungariotherium fauna, the Middle Miocene Platybelodon fauna, the Late Miocene Hipparion fauna, and the Early Pleistocene Equus fauna have been described from the Linxia Basin since 2000, including rodents, lagomorphs, primates, carnivores, proboscideans, perissodactyls and artiodactyls.

Among these mammalian fossils, several hundred skulls of the late Cenozoic rhinoceroses are known from the Linxia Basin. In addition, more abundant limb bones and isolated teeth of rhinoceroses are found in this basin, especially from the Late Miocene red clay deposits. Rhinoceroses were over 70% in diversity during the Late Oligocene, and they were dominant in population during the Late Miocene. In the Middle Miocene and Early Pleistocene faunas, rhinoceroses were important members. 

DENG Tao. 2010. Linxia Basin: An Ancient Paradise for Late Cenozoic Rhinoceroses in North China. Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences24(2). 103-106.